Further Information

Confidentiality agreements


If your research requires restricted access, a confidential examination or you think it might generate intellectual property issues, you must advise the University.

  1. Restricted access and confidential examination
  2. Dealing with confidentiality
  3. Intellectual property
  4. Copyright
  5. Patents
  6. Plant breeder's rights

Restricted access and confidential examination

Advise the Graduate Research School before you submit your thesis for examination, if you think it requires restricted access or confidential examination.

After you lodge a form with the school, it will arrange appropriate approvals and notify the Scholars Centre.

The submission of thesis form also includes a section that asks you to declare confidentiality and restricted access issues.

Dealing with confidentiality

Intellectual property

The major forms of intellectual property that impact on you and the University are patents and copyright.

Notify the UWA Legal Services Office about potential for intellectual property issues via the Intellectual Property Questionnaire.

Submit the questionnaire with your annual report.

If intellectual property issues surrounding your thesis require restricted access or  confidential examination, notify the Graduate Research School.


Copyright, in the University environment, normally refers to written works, artistic works and also includes software. Copyright also applies to other things like sound recordings, broadcasts and film and video works.

The basic rule is that you may not copy any significant or important portion of work belonging to somebody else without that person's permission.

Material on the internet may be subject to copyright.

Seek advice if you are in doubt.

Usually, the author of a work will own the copyright. This means you will retain the copyright in your thesis. The University takes steps to ensure that your copyright remains with you.


Patents are a powerful way of protecting intellectual property and are vigorously enforced.

It is possible to infringe the rights in another's patent even though you built the relevant thing or devised the relevant process yourself.

Patent rights belong to the person who got to the patent office first, and therefore care should be taken.

If you have a patentable process or device, seek advice from your supervisor or the Legal Services Office.

It is important to know whether any external funding body has made any prior claim on inventions from the project they are funding. You should keep such obligations in mind at all times.

Plant breeder's rights

Plant breeder's rights are being increasingly used within the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

If you develop new and stable varieties of plants, seek advice from your supervisor or the Legal Services Office.